Geosciences COVID-19 Updates

Domestic Out-of-State Travel Update (March 23, 2020):  Effective immediately, all non-essential domestic out-of-state academic and business travel for University of Arizona faculty, staff, and students is suspended, and will not be authorized until further notice, due to the current outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  If travel is deemed as essential, approval will need to be obtained from the appropriate Senior Vice President responsible for your unit.  If you are returning to campus from business travel, and in particular if you have visited places that have known COVID-19 community spread, you are strongly urged to self-quarantine at home for two weeks following guidelines from the CDC.  Please visit for updates.  

Geoscience MEMO: Adjusting to COVID-19 Impact

Overview of Guidelines and Planning for Geosciences

The Department priority is the safety and well-being of all our employees and students. While we still want to keep working, provide service, teach our students and conduct research, we need to adjust our daily routine so to minimize personal contact.

I appreciate the efforts made by everyone in the department to keep things moving forward in a safe way.


Current UArizona Guidelines for Social Distancing:

  • It is strongly recommended that employees work remotely. Work and study from home as much as possible!
  • Do not schedule group meetings, but when necessary, keep group size under to 4 or less.
  • Keep personal distance of 6 feet.

All in-person Department events must be cancelled or postponed.

I encourage you to set up regular meetings via Zoom or Skype.

Faculty meetings, interviews and PhD defenses will be conducted remotely.



Faculty should be communicating with their students as quickly as possible regarding how to access remote learning. Here are some useful resources (COVID-19 Technology resources from UArizona):

Please take advantage of D2L for your on-line instruction. Kiriaki is working extra hard to facilitate remote interviews, meetings, PhD defenses, etc. and it is important not to use her time unless it is absolutely necessary. Tom is also available for IT support through early May.

All in-person class laboratories and class-related field trips are suspended until further notice. Please ask Martin Pepper (via George Gehrels) about the possibility of remote field trips.



What about labs that require "hands-on" education?

  • The latest communication indicates that we should not pursue any type of face-to-face instruction right now.
  • Please think about alternatives. Can you videotape (even with your phone) close-ups of instruments as you show how to use them? Then could you make your video interactive. Although this a such a burden right now, I suspect that we will come up with some materials that will be useful in the future.
  • Right now, we should not have any face-to-face activities planned. But you could use resources such as Zoom and Panopto, through D2L for example, where students can be involved in the course in a more interactive way than simply by reading a PowerPoint or studying the material posted online.

Student employees

  • "As instructed by the Provost, student employees should expect their employment and wages to continue. If possible, assign student employees remote tasks to complete. The student employees will need to be paid even if you don’t have remote tasks available for them to complete."
  • If you employ student workers, please follow the Provost guidelines.

Research and data collection

  • Faculty and graduate students can continue research activities, which do not involve close interactions with other people and as long social distance can be maintained. Laboratories involving outside visitors should consider postponing all visits from outside colleagues until further notice.
    • First, consider deferring data collection that is not time-sensitive. If you need to collect data in the field and in the lab, keep social distancing guidelines in mind (see above).
  • Student involvement in faculty research:
    • In general, students should not be engaged in research activities that involve coming to campus or interacting face-to-face with others for the time being. You can certainly engage students in work that they can perform from a safe distance.
  • Student-directed research:
    • This is a tough area and we should probably have individual conversations. There will be some student research projects that need to move forward now that will involve coming to campus and possibly interacting with people. This is primarily true for graduate students. If a graduate student wants to come to the lab to work their research, that is not disallowed, so long as social distancing guidelines are followed.
    • Keep the following in mind: students can opt out of any on-campus activities. So if you think they should come to campus to work on their data or in the laboratory, but they do not feel comfortable coming to campus, their desires take precedence.

With the health and safety of all University of Arizona faculty, staff and students in mind, the University requires all domestic campus travelers currently abroad to return to the U.S. by no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2020. If you are returning from a country with widespread and sustained transmission of COVID19 (level 3) ( you need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.


Geoscience Staff

I will be working with the front office to make a plan on how to best deal with the current situation and minimize personal contact. Some staff will continue to work on campus and some will work remotely until further notice.


Travel Guidelines from the College of Science

In response to the spreading risk, beginning immediately and until further notice, I am strongly recommending cancelling all non-essential domestic out-of-state business travel for College of Science employees. Any travel for those in your department must be approved by the Department Head and then forward to the Dean for final approval. Only the most essential and critical travel will be approved. Travel may be deemed “essential” if THREE of the list below is likely to occur should the travel be cancelled or significantly delayed:

  • Loss of grant funding, or failure to meet required completion deadlines
  • Failure to meet contract deliverable requirements
  • Significant damage to relationship with institutional partner
  • Loss of professional development opportunity unlikely to reoccur for the foreseeable future
  • Significant delay in academic progress, degree completion, or graduation. As a reminder, regarding personal travel, if an employee travels for any reason to a country designated as Level 2 or Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control, the employee will be required to remain isolated at home or other off-campus residence for 14 days from the date of return from that country.

A list of staff contact numbers has been made available below. A list of department contacts, laboratories and related staff contacts can also be found below.


Heather Alvarez, Accountant, (520) 331-0043

Denise Carrillo, Proposals, (520) 247-2087

Pat Waters, IMR, (520) 861-6395

Michelle Garcia, Coordinator, (520) 488-6112

Sylvia Quintero, Business Manager, (520) 808-0707

Shawna Matteson, Undergraduate Advisor, (512) 659-8499

Anne Chase, Payroll/Graduate Advisor, (520) 390-3359

Hannah McCormick, Human Resources/Alumni Coordinator, (215) 694-8914

Kiriaki Xiluri, IT, (520) 289-7250

David Steinke, Engineer, (520) 490-7206

Ben McElhaney, Electronics, (520) 403-5635

Mark Baker, Lab Manager, (520) 237-0234

Rocio Brambila, IMR Coordinator, (520) 668-2041

Andy Cohen, Associate Department Head, (520) 471-2625

Barbara Carrapa, Department Head, (520) 891-6559

Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Lab (AMS) (Jull), PAS, 621-6825

Arizona Fission Track Dating Lab (Carrapa/Thomson), GS 301

Arizona LaserChron Center Lab (Gehrels), GS 101, 109, 419-8934

Arizona Noble Gas Lab (GS) (Reiners), GS 123,  235-0792

Arizona Noble Gas Lab (PAS) (Reiners), PAS 534, 554,  235-0792

Arizona Radiogenic Helium Dating Lab (Reiners), GS 810, 810A, 818, 235-0792

Biogeochemical Dynamics Lab (Russell), GS 317, 626-7382

Climate Modeling Lab (Yin), GS 509

Chemistry Lab (Ruiz/M. Baker), GS 119

Cosmogenic 14C and 10Be Lab (Jull), GS 123A, 626-8053

Economic Geology Collection (Barton), GS 209B, 270

Economic Geology Workrooms (Barton/Seedorff), GS 321, 327

Environmental Isotopes Lab (Dettman), GS 320, 140, 106, 626-4014 or 488-4722

Geoarchaeology Lab (Holliday), GS 132, 621-4578

Geodesy Lab (Bennett), GS 546, 626-9200

Geomorphology Lab (Pelletier), GS 354

GeoStructure Lab (DeCelles), GS 333

Global Seismology Lab (Beck), GS 543

LA-ICP-MS Lab (Barton),  GS 337, 626-1989

Lowell Program in Economic Geology (Seedorff), GS 342, 626-4962

Mass Spectrometry Lab (Ruiz/M. Baker), GS 114, 621-2122

Microprobe (Ken Domanik- LPL), SS 23, 621-2959

Mineral Separation Lab (Ducea), GS 252, 621-6001

Mineral Separation Lab (Gehrels), GS 105

Noble Gas Lab (Swindle), GS 123, 626-8159

Organic Geochemistry Lab (Tierney), GS 922, 621-1871

Paleobiology Lab (Flessa), GS 313, 626-DEAD

Paleoceanography Lab (Thirumalai), GS 801

Paleolimnology Lab (Cohen), GS 330

Paleolimnology Wet Lab (Cohen) , GS 374

Pollen Lab (O. Davis), GS 332, 338

Radiocarbon Journal, Duval, 621-0641; 621-0584 (fax)

Radiocarbon Lab , Duval, 881-5746

Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry Lab (Ducea), GS 111, 621-8424

Reflection Seismology (Johnson), GS 560

Re-Os Geochemistry Lab (M. Baker/Ruiz), GS 432, 438, 626-3238

Rock Saw Room (Barton), GS 248, 254

Rock Crushing Facility (Gehrels), GS 250

Rock Storage Room (Ruiz/Gehrels/M. Baker), GS 382

Sedimentary Rocks Lab (DeCelles), GS 264

SEM Lab (Ducea), GS 105B, 621-8107

SEM Lab (Gehrels), GS 126, 626-5447

Soils Lab (Quade), GS 260

Stable Isotope Lab (Barton), GS 337

Structural Geology Lab (P. Kapp), GS 314

TIMS Lab (Quade/Ducea), GS 105A, 105B, 108, 621-4259

Tropical Climate & Coral Reefs Lab (Thompson), GS 127, 380, 376, 621-5791

Trace Element Clean Lab (M. Baker), GS 117, 117A, 621-8424

X-Ray Crystallography Lab (Downs), GS 526, 626-3845